You are not a company

5 Aug
2007

As I alluded to in my previous post (MadKast is stupid), a viable company is not what passes around for ‘entrepreneurship’ these days.

It is sad. Any Joe Blow with a computer and blogging software starts to blog. Good for him. He then starts to make money – even enough money to quit his day job and work on blogging fulltime. Good for him. But that is not a company. I would mark it as freelance work (you write stuff, people read it, and ‘pay’ you back in the form of clicking on ads). If you stop blogging, your company goes down the toilet in half a second flat.

If your ‘company’ does nothing while you go on a two week vacation – it isn’t a company then. Right now I can go away on a two week vacation. Sure I will have a lot of emails and work piled up while I am gone, but everything should hum along. My server admin will ensure the servers stay up (and check to make sure they are up). My managers will ensure every division is humming along, making progress (and money at the same time).

To me – a company can survive the loss of any one person (I have safeguards that if I was to die tomorrow, Enthropia Inc would still hum along). Sure, their might be a bit of a transition period, but my people know what is to be done. This post on entrepenurship by Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin is completely spot on. Nothing describes me better as point number one.

So think about it – are you really a company?

6 Responses to You are not a company

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Food for Thought: So What’s a Company?

August 6th, 2007 at 7:06 am

[...] over at Tech Soapbox, wrote this great piece entitled You are not a company. It’s an assertion that entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily the establishment of a viable [...]

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Anthony

August 7th, 2007 at 2:18 am

I remember years ago I raised this in a thread I started over at SitePoint laughing at freelancers calling themselves CEOs. Offended a few people who flamed me for not getting how massive their one man empires were and how they were fully entitled to be called a CEO amongst the best of them.

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$1.2 million for … this? - Tech Soapbox

August 8th, 2007 at 9:43 am

[...] my previous post, I had said you are not a company. The issue was simple – if the business falls apat without you (ie single-employee situations), [...]

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James

August 15th, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Good point, probably not the best terminology usage however. Instead of one-man operations being akin to freelance work (blogging does not make one independently contracted to do work), I would suggest it is more like self-employment. Robert Kiyosaki (author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series) splits the money making world into four quadrants; Employee (you have a job), Self-Employed (your blog makes money, but the blog would not continue to make money without your direct input, or in other words you own the job), Business Owner (you could leave and come back in a year to find your business more profitable than when you left it), and finally Investor (but that isn’t relevant to my point).

I suppose the truth is that most people do not start out as a “real company” and that’s ok. In my honest opinion there is a legitimate middle ground between doing jack squat and owning a business that is self-sustained. I think the Web has brought about this new middle ground and that Web 2.0 and has increased the number of people joining this group.

By the way, love the blog.

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Ahmed

August 16th, 2007 at 9:41 am

@James – well put. Too many thoughts have fried the circuitry up there :)

And glad you like the blog.

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Inspired or Rip-off? - Tech Soapbox

November 12th, 2007 at 7:06 pm

[...] the same time, it is more a feature and less a company. Analytic sites agree – it spiked the past two months, but started falling in October. And only [...]

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